Sunday, October 18, 2009

Where to Boise City Council Members Stand on the Streetcar?

There were some interesting comments regarding the streetcar by Boise CIty Council members as reported in the October 18th Idaho Statesman:

The most disturbing came from Council President Maryanne Jordan, who basically summed up her position by saying "We couldn't pass up the opportunity for a $40 million grant".  She is perfectly willing to commit the city to hundreds of millions ($60 million for the first streetcar phase plus subsidies plus over $200+ million for the next 3 phases) of taxpayer supported perpetual debt for an outdated, outmoded, useless mode of transportation while the city is already running a $9 million and growing deficit and doesn't even have a working bus system. They can't even fix the Greenbelt, fund arts programs, or control their health insurance costs, among a whole litany of other shortfalls, but she still wants a streetcar.

This is simply short-term irresponsible thinking that displays a lack of financial acumen.  The $60 million initial spending spree is just the beginning of going down a very long dark road of perpetual spending,  plus tax and fee increases over time to support the streetcar.  There is no free money and no free streetcar.

It has already happened.  The city has spent money on the streetcar that they don't have as reported in a previous post.

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